Posts tagged: serotonin

Feeling Depressed? An AVOCADO May Be Just What You Need

Feeling Depressed? An AVOCADO May Be Just What You Need
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com

Food plays a big part in mental health, studies have shown that omega-3, vitamin-B, vitamin-D, amino acids, and different minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and iron play a key role in good mental health. [1]

Avocado is a great food source for vitamins and minerals, as it contains almost 20 minerals and vitamins like B6, C, E, K, and folate. [2] Avocados also contain tryptophan and the highly valuable omega-3 essential fatty acid.

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps regulate the neurotransmitters and avoid inflammation in the brain, whereas tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin which is our ‘feel-good’ hormone. Serotonin stabilizes the mood, feeling of happiness, and well-being.

Avocados are rich in other fatty acids that help in maintaining a healthy nervous system and cognitive processes [3]. Fatty acid also helps in balancing the level of the hormone in the body resulting in a healthy and depression-free brain.

Avocados are also rich in folic acid that is part of the vitamin B family. Folic acid prevents excessive accumulation of homocysteine in the body which is naturally produced in the body. Homocysteine affects the production of serotonin and dopamine which regulate the mood.

Now you can see the scientific reasoning behind the suggestion that avocados may be natural mood boosters.

There’s more: Avocados have a high amount of choline that boosts levels of serotonin in the body. They also contain vitamin E that gives the skin freshness and shine. By adding avocados to your daily diet, you may be able to improve the quality of your sleep and have a better mood when you wake up.

Learn more about the amazing health benefits of Avocados and how to use them:
https://herbshealthhappiness.com/amazing-health-benefits-of-avocado/

References:

[1] Sarris, J., et al., Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry. The Lancet Psychiatry, 2015. 2(3): p. 271-274.

[2] Majid, D., et al., Avocado, in Antioxidants in Fruits: Properties and Health Benefits. 2020, Springer. p. 103-123.

[3] Ameer, K., Avocado as a major dietary source of antioxidants and its preventive role in neurodegenerative diseases, in The benefits of natural products for neurodegenerative diseases. 2016, Springer. p. 337-354.

11 Ways To Increase The Serotonin In Your Brain

11 Ways To Increase The Serotonin In Your Brain
Graphic: © herbs-info.com

Serotonin is a chemical produced by the brain – as a soothing neurotransmitter. Similar to endorphins and dopamine, it contributes to a feeling of happiness. It is important in facilitating a ‘good’ mood, proper deep sleep, and even the feeling of self-confidence.
People suffering from depression have been found to have decreased levels of serotonin. As such, finding ways to increase serotonin levels is important.

1. More Tryptophan: Research shows that a high-tryptophan diet could boost serotonin levels. [1] Consider eating protein-based foods like lean meats, eggs, and dairy products.

2. Get a Massage: Ever wonder why you feel so good, relaxed and happy after a proper massage? Not only do your tensed muscles ease up, but the serotonin levels tend to peak after a session. This is attributed to a reduction in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. [2]

3. Boost your B-Vitamins Intake: While your physician should be consulted – especially to determine dosages – studies show that B vitamins improve serotonin levels. [3]

4. Get a Bit of Sun on You: We all know how good we feel after soaking up some sunlight. Apparently, there is a link between sunshine on human skin and serotonin levels. [4]

5. Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency is associated with low levels of serotonin. [5] With this in mind, add leafy greens, fish, bananas, and beans to your diet for more magnesium.

6. Positivity goes a Long Way: Doing things that make you feel good is key!

7. Reduce your Sugar Intake: Mood crashes are brought on by excessive consumption of sugar, no matter how good it feels at first. A study in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences concluded that “sugar-rich diet-induced greater decreases of serotonin.” [6]

8. Meditation: Meditation is believed to stimulate 5-HIAA, which is a precursor to serotonin production. There have been several studies linking mindful meditation to an increase in serotonin levels. [7]

9. Exercise More Often: A pumping heart is always good for your serotonin levels – as evidenced by scientific research. [8]

10. Vitamin C: Some studies suggest that a dose of vitamin C (e.g. from citrus fruits) could elevate your moods. [9] Vitamin C is widely hailed for its anti-depressant properties.

11. Self-Care: According to a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Neuroscience, self-reported satisfaction and self-care affect serotonin levels. [10]

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Jenkins T. et al. 2016. Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728667/.

[2] Field, T. et al. 2005. Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162447.

[3] Kennedy, D. 2016. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/.

[4] Sansone, R. et a. 2013. Sunshine, Serotonin, and Skin: A Partial Explanation for Seasonal Patterns in Psychopathology? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3779905/.

[5] Magnesium and major depression https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507265/.

[6] Inam QU. et al. 2016. Effects of sugar rich diet on brain serotonin, hyperphagia and anxiety in animal model of both genders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27166525.

[7] Young, S. 2011. Biologic effects of mindfulness meditation: growing insights into neurobiologic aspects of the prevention of depression https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3044190/.

[8] Heijnen, S. 2015. Neuromodulation of Aerobic Exercise—A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4703784/.

[9] Lee L. et al. 2001. Effect of supplementation of vitamin E and vitamin C on brain acetylcholinesterase activity and neurotransmitter levels in rats treated with scopolamine, an inducer of dementia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11814146.

[10] Young, S. 2007. How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/.

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11 Ways To Increase The Serotonin In Your Brain
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